MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) — Earlier this year, the City of Manassas purchased an iconic property from Novant Hospital, which hadn’t been using it for about 20 years.
The city’s first millionaire, Robert Portner, built Annaburg Manor in 1892. It served as his summer home until his death in 1906.
On Tuesday night, the Community Development Office revealed its master plan and the future of Annaburg Manor; an anticipated moment for much of the city’s residents.
Director of Community Development Elizabeth Via-Gossman says it was the community that started inquiring about the future of the house before the hospital even had plans to sell it.
“They started growing concerned that something was going to happen to it or that the grounds might be developed,” said Via-Gossman. After the city purchased the property, it looked to the community for ideas.
Via-Gossman says the most common responses were centered around the preservation of green space. The property will be used for passive recreation — maybe featuring some benches or a playground. There will be some garden space as well.
The house itself will be used for public activities, like weddings and meetings. Via-Gossman says the house’s restoration is already in the works. The city will soon be installing a new, slate roof (not replacement asphalt shingles), to mock the house’s original roof.
“Even though we have no immediate plans to restore the house, we are taking immediate steps to make sure that it’s safe,” said Via-Gossman.